an·​tip·​a·​thy | \an-ˈti-pə-thē \
plural antipathies

Definition of antipathy 

1 : a strong feeling of dislike an antipathy to taxes a deep antipathy between the groups

2 : something disliked : an object of aversion … perhaps his greatest antipathies were cabs, old women, doors that would not shut …— Charles Dickens

3 obsolete : opposition in feeling

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Choose the Right Synonym for antipathy

enmity, hostility, antipathy, antagonism, animosity, rancor, animus mean deep-seated dislike or ill will. enmity suggests positive hatred which may be open or concealed. an unspoken enmity hostility suggests an enmity showing itself in attacks or aggression. hostility between the two nations antipathy and antagonism imply a natural or logical basis for one's hatred or dislike, antipathy suggesting repugnance, a desire to avoid or reject, and antagonism suggesting a clash of temperaments leading readily to hostility. a natural antipathy for self-seekers antagonism between the brothers animosity suggests intense ill will and vindictiveness that threaten to kindle hostility. animosity that led to revenge rancor is especially applied to bitter brooding over a wrong. rancor filled every line of his letters animus adds to animosity the implication of strong prejudice. objections devoid of personal animus

Did You Know?

When the nation of Yugoslavia was created in 1945, it combined a number of ethnic groups with a history of violent antipathy toward each other. In 1991–92 four regions of the country announced that they would become independent nations; a bloody six-year war followed, fueled by these ancient and powerful antipathies. The American Civil War similarly resulted from antipathy between the North and the South. But in the U.S.'s relations with its next-door neighbors, it's been a long time since emotions have gotten much stronger than annoyance.

Examples of antipathy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

So did Arizona, a state notorious for the ruling Anglo political elite’s antipathy to Hispanics. Jon Talton, The Seattle Times, "In America’s ‘geography of despair,’ how to help the left-behind places?," 21 Nov. 2018 Most media coverage of the president gives the impression that black antipathy is universal, but that’s a left-wing fantasy. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, "Among Black Voters, Trump’s Popularity Inches Upward," 6 Nov. 2018 For years, these platforms captured Mr. Sayoc’s attention with a steady flow of outrage and hyperpartisan clickbait and gave him a public venue to declare his allegiance to Mr. Trump and his antipathy for the president’s enemies. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Why social media is friend to far-right politicians around the world," 30 Oct. 2018 For some people, the antipathy is explicitly racial. New York Times, "In U.S. and Europe, Migration Conflict Points to Deeper Political Problems," 29 June 2018 What, then, accounts for the antipathy towards gentrification? The Economist, "In praise of gentrification," 21 June 2018 Utley earned the antipathy of Mets fans during a storied career with the Phillies. Andy Mccullough,, "Dodgers plan to activate Chase Utley to face New York Mets on Friday," 20 June 2018 The president's statements didn't come up during the trial, though his antipathy loomed in the background. Marcy Gordon,, "Justice Department appealing judge's OK of AT&T-Time Warner merger," 12 July 2018 In a sport hailed for its uncertainty, these two teams, and their antipathy toward each other, were a constant for the better part of a decade. Alex Putterman, The Atlantic, "The Yankees–Red Sox Rivalry Is Back in Full Force," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'antipathy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of antipathy

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for antipathy

Latin antipathia, from Greek antipatheia, from antipathēs of opposite feelings, from anti- + pathos experience — more at pathos

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Learn More about antipathy

Statistics for antipathy

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for antipathy

The first known use of antipathy was in 1592

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More Definitions for antipathy


an·​tip·​a·​thy | \an-ˈti-pə-thē \
plural antipathies

Kids Definition of antipathy

: a strong feeling of dislike


an·​tip·​a·​thy | \an-ˈtip-ə-thē \
plural antipathies

Medical Definition of antipathy 

1 : settled aversion or dislike

2 : an object of aversion

Other Words from antipathy

antipathic \ˌant-​i-​ˈpath-​ik \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on antipathy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for antipathy

Spanish Central: Translation of antipathy

Nglish: Translation of antipathy for Spanish Speakers

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